How can I sandbox Python in pure Python?

This is really non-trivial.

There are two ways to sandbox Python. One is to create a restricted environment (i.e., very few globals etc.) and exec your code inside this environment. This is what Messa is suggesting. It’s nice but there are lots of ways to break out of the sandbox and create trouble. There was a thread about this on Python-dev a year ago or so in which people did things from catching exceptions and poking at internal state to break out to byte code manipulation. This is the way to go if you want a complete language.

The other way is to parse the code and then use the ast module to kick out constructs you don’t want (e.g. import statements, function calls etc.) and then to compile the rest. This is the way to go if you want to use Python as a config language etc.

Another way (which might not work for you since you’re using GAE), is the PyPy sandbox. While I haven’t used it myself, word on the intertubes is that it’s the only real sandboxed Python out there.

Based on your description of the requirements (The requirements are support for variables, basic conditionals and function calls (not definitions)) , you might want to evaluate approach 2 and kick out everything else from the code. It’s a little tricky but doable.

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